Spine care experts launch maiden ‘National Injury Prevention Week’

The programme, launched in 10 cities across India including the national capital, will continue till September 7 with the aim of building awareness about injury prevention through education, research, and advocacy.

The Spinal Cord Society, Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA), Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) and Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) in association with 10 other societies Friday launched the first-ever ‘National Injury Prevention Week’ under the aegis of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

The programme, launched in 10 cities across India including the national capital, will continue till September 7 with the aim of building awareness about injury prevention through education, research, and advocacy.

The first-of-its-kind initiative brings together the Indian Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IAPMR), Indian Head Injury Foundation (IHIF), Chandigarh Spinal Rehab, The Association of People with Disability, The Spinal Foundation, KARA Medical Foundation, Spine Wellness and Care Foundation, Be Brave and Nina Foundation.

The programme was launched virtually in Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cuttack, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Patna, and Bhopal.

“Road crashes and falls are among the top reasons for injury in India. In fact, India accounts for about 10 per cent of road crash fatalities worldwide, comprising a large number of youths between 18 and 35 years. Head injury is the leading cause of death for children, teens and young adults. Injury prevention is important not only to maintain the quality of life, but to also save the lifelong economic burden,” said Dr H S Chhabra, president Spinal Cord Society, past president ISCoS & ASSI, medical director-cum-chief of spine services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi.

Under the ‘National Injury Prevention Week’, outdoor activities will be held across India with a focus on activities in schools and colleges for sensitizing the younger generation towards injury prevention. Experts called for a wider ‘National Injury Prevention and Control Programme’ with an integrated multi-sectoral approach at Centre and state levels, appointment of a nodal agency with appropriate authority and budget, and strengthening of the National Injury Surveillance System in a phased manner, starting with mandatory data collection from all hospitalised injuries, like other notifiable diseases.

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“The number of injured is 10 times more than the dead, and primary prevention plays a critical role. Under the programme, the focus would be to reach out to people through educational programmes based on evidence-based strategies. As a part of the programme, the societies will work towards increasing awareness and imparting knowledge on training protocols for preventing injuries among people. I am glad to see so many associations coming together to undertake such an initiative,” said Dr B Shiva Shankar, president, Indian Orthopaedic Association (IOA).

“Injury can happen anywhere and to anyone. With urban migration and cities not having adequate infrastructure, injuries are on a rise. Elderly people living alone in cities are particularly vulnerable; there isn’t adequate infrastructure to help them. As part of injury prevention efforts, the government must strengthen pre-hospital and emergency care, build capacity as well as allocate enough funds and resources for research in injury prevention. Changing people’s mindset to obey rules is also important,” said Dr Shankara Acharya, president of Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI).

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